skip to content

Centre for Doctoral Training in Ultra Precision Engineering


Clare Collins, 3rd year PhD, was awarded the prize for ‘Special Commendation’ for her image of Carbon nanotube jellyfish in The Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition in the micro-imaging category.

Clare writes: "Seemingly a swarm of jellyfish, this image was actually created using carbon nanotubes grown in a pillar formation. The metal disks that make up the jellyfish bodies are made by ‘sputtering’ charged aluminium and iron ions onto a surface to deposit a thin film of the metals. The carbon nanotubes grow from this thin disk.

The disks are 5 micrometers in diameter – 5 1/1000ths of a millimetre – and are 10 micrometers apart. If you zoomed out of the image, you would be able to see that they make up part of a 2 mm x 2 mm pattern across the surface of a silicon chip.

I research carbon nanotubes to study the emission of electrons, called the field emission, from a number of different configurations. The applications for field emission could be for displays or as X-ray sources."

Story first published on the Royal Society website.

Read more

Clare's profile and project page.